Week 4 / Day 3 – Wednesday
“Through God’s Eyes”
I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12: 1 – 2, NASB)
We have spent quite a bit of time/space on how generosity blesses us as individuals. Today, the initial focus is on the Church Catholic, the Church Universal, the “priesthood of all believers.” Individual faith communities that strive to thrive will practice over-and-above sharing. They will not only make sacrifices but also actively seek to make sacrifices so others may know Jesus. Vibrant and fruitful congregations will be joyous givers because they love God and their neighbor(s).
Faith communities that choose to practice what Bishop Schnase calls “Extravagant Generosity” will openly share about where MONEY fits into the faith-journey of each Christian. These conversations will be explicit and filled with love mixed with reality. Talking honestly about the role of $$$ is a key element of giving and living extravagantly – with Jesus at the center.
Here is a direct quote from the devotional guide for this series that points directly to the importance of all that has been noted here:
The notion that giving rightly focuses on our need to give rather than on the church’s need to receive is … a spiritually powerful truth. (emphasis mine)
Now we are back to the individual. Because God has blessed/is blessing each of us, it is spiritually natural that we will not just want to give but also we NEED to give back to the God of blessings. The church will be blessed to receive but only as we follow-through on our deep need to give.
Lasting satisfaction does not come through how much stuff we have. Defining who we are at our core is not discovered through material possessions. Stuff of this world is temporary. We, as creations in God’s image, are eternal. If you say you are a Jesus-follower then you—at some point—will have to listen to the world or to God.